had a 'demo' ride on a CB500F yesterday! - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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had a 'demo' ride on a CB500F yesterday!

Near the end of my 160 km ride yesterday I stopped at the local Honda Powersports dealer to chat w/ a friend, a salesman. When I asked if they were planning a "Demo Day" for the new 500s he said "Fill in this form and take that CB500F ABS for a ride."

He didn't have to repeat the offer - I was already 'geared-up', so on w/ my helmet and gloves, adjusted the mirrors, started it, and put it into first gear.

I thought at first that it hadn't gone into gear because the "gronch" we get on our Vs did NOT happen when I pressed the shifter. The clutch-pull, however, is WAY-Y-Y heavier than the V's.

Pulled away, up thru the gears. NICE tranny...! Power feels good too.

During the 50 kms (30 miles) I rode, I sampled some serious twisties, some normal roads, plus a section of BC Hwy 33 where I 'ran it thru the gears', near redline in the lower ones, to about 140 kph. While it doesn't have the same 'roll-on' capability our Vs have - it DID get there pretty quickly. I found the handling to NOT be up to MY V's handling (don't forget I've modded BOTH ends, including an R1 shock, on mine), but very close to what I remember it WAS back then. The seat/ pegs/ handlebars relationship seems quite close to the V's (tho' w/ a lower seat height - I could easily 'flat-foot'), and the 'step' in the seat seems the SAME place, tho' the seat didn't force me into the tank. In addition it has nice stainless steel 'fairings' below the engine where our bikes have the plastic ones.

I made a point of grabbing a handful of brakes (I'm sure I didn't get into the ABS...) at least once, and the brakes felt PDG. On this model - the F (naked) - the instruments are low enough to be ALMOST not in your view w/out glancing down, but they are a surprisingly complete LCD set, kind of 'bluish' on this model (yellow on the other two). Besides the speedo there are several odometers, an "L" shaped tach, and a trip computor that gives (selectable...) either kms/L or L/ 100 km, and a clock that's always in view .

One annoyance came from two "points-of-light" that showed up on the instruments at times, caused by the sun reflecting from the chromed bolts holding the handle-bars on. Pretty sure that these would not happen on the other two models because while the instruments are low and close to horizontal on the F, they're angled more and higher on the other two models.

During the ride the trip computor was giving me a reading around 24.6 km/L, LESS than I was expecting to get (in fact I filled up the GREEN HORNET after I returned the 500F, and got 25.5 km/L over the 245 kms I'd ridden, and that's WITH all the mods I've done, including 'soft' bags).

I removed the seat to inspect the storage - looks very close to the V's underseat, and the 500s gas-up like the V - NO underseat filler ( - -)!!!

All-in-all a pretty good motorcycle from Honda, tho' I find it interesting that it's considered a "beginners" bike: it weighs about 424# w/ 45 HP, while, back-in-the-day the Bonneville at 400# had 40 HP and was thought of as an "experts" bike.

So-o-o, pros and cons:
Pro - gear box ; power ; brakes ; handling ; looks ; and comfort.

Con - clutch pull ; reflections on instruments ; and a bit much forward lean when NOT at highway speeds.

Ed
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Last edited by fasteddiecopeman; 07-31-2013 at 12:44 PM.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 03:47 PM
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Nice review. Did you just perform an accelerated break-in period on that thing or did it already have some miles on the clock? It is a nice looking bike but I need the V's seat height now that I'm used to it.


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-01-2013, 04:00 PM
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I've been devouring all the info I can find on the CB500 family. As good a bike as the Versys is, it doesn't quite fit as well as I'd like, and I'm hesitant to spend too much time/cash trying to make that happen, as I've never been truly "in love" with it anyway. My heart belongs with the Street Triple, and the Sprint calls as a better bike for rides with my wife. However, the CBR500 still makes me say, "Ooh. Neat." Not enough long-distance riding makes the Sprint overkill, but the persistent high winds out here on the plains makes a naked like the ST3 potentially exhausting. Since I can't find a GSX650F, I keep thinking that the CBR is a good-looking alternative. There's always stuff like the FZ6R or older not-quite-supersports like the ZZR600, but I'd rather go UP in mpg rather than down if I'm going to be compromising anyway. Then there's the part of my brain that says, "You're just being a malcontent. Go enjoy what you've got." Which is what will probably happen in the end.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-01-2013, 04:17 PM
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Just went and looked at that bike. The CB series looks great. And the priceing on them is great as well.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-01-2013, 05:06 PM
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I went from the GSX650F, to the Versys, then right back to another 4 cylinder, the Yamaha Fazer 8
I'm in love!

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-01-2013, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeattleSlammer View Post
Nice review. Did you just perform an accelerated break-in period on that thing or did it already have some miles on the clock? ....
It had about 1240 kms, so I don't believe I 'broke-it-in', but both my Vs were broken-in on the FIRST-rides from the dealer to my place...!






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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-01-2013, 08:35 PM
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Nice write-up. I sat on a CB500X in the dealership when I was discussing the Grom. The CB500X felt like the Versys all around but about 85% the size of the Versys. I assume by the feel sitting still that it has about a similar feel as the Versys. I imagine the CB500F is close as well and I can see why you would get the forward lean.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-02-2013, 02:32 AM
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Different handle bar heights

Current : Maroon 2011.
- Fender Extender - Radiator Guard - 19mm Nissin radial master - Nissin 4-pot caliper - SS brake lines - Osram Hyper 65W both low/high beam - LED 30w aux floodlights & 3w DRLs - Rear Hugger - Givi crash guards - Yoshimura TRC Carbon - Dynojet PC5 - Scottoiler - R1 shock with Ohlins 14.2 kg/mm spring - Imitation Givi Windshield - Rear Givi rack with 24ltr Givi top box - Bosch dual tones - Z800 stock mirrors.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-02-2013, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post

All-in-all a pretty good motorcycle from Honda, tho' I find it interesting that it's considered a "beginners" bike: it weighs about 424# w/ 45 HP, while, back-in-the-day the Bonneville at 400# had 40 HP and was thought of as an "experts" bike.
If you could get a hold of an antique Bonneville and go for a ride, you would still consider it an "experts" bike because the handling and braking is scary compared to "modern" bikes.

That is one of the things reviewers say about the W800 when compared to the modern retro Bonneville. I don't know if most would consider it a good thing or not but they say the W800 handles like the antique Bonneville and the retro Bonneville handles like a modern bike.

Personally, if I could fit on low cc bikes and they had the fuel economy and power to do what I need them to do then I would own them. Fit is very important to me for all day riding. I bought the Connie because of the fit, but very rarely ever use more than a 1/4 of the power available. Always run in eco mode and try to keep the MPG at 45.

For some reason Honda bikes just don't move me. My two favorite brands that I would consider owning are Kawasaki and Triumph. Followed by Yamaha and Suzuki.

My Versys Travels:


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-15-2013, 03:15 PM
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thank you, Ed!

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